Friday, May 11, 2007

Akons Antics with Adolescent

NEW YORK — Akon, under fire for doing a sexually explicit dance onstage with a 14-year-old girl, has offered an apology to the teen and anyone else who was offended by the display.

Akon, whose hits include "Don't Matter," "I Wanna Love You" with Snoop Dogg and "Smack That" with Eminem, was videotaped simulating sex with a girl invited onstage as part of his act during an April 12 concert in Trinidad. After the video was circulated widely on the Internet, it was revealed that she was 14.

Since the incident, Verizon has pulled out as a sponsor of his tour with Gwen Stefani, for whom he wrote the hit "The Sweet Escape."

In a statement released Wednesday to The Associated Press, Akon, 34, said he was sorry for the incident but also said he didn't know the girl was underage.

"I want to sincerely apologize for the embarrassment and any pain I've caused to the young woman who joined me onstage, her family and the Trinidad community for the events at my concert," Akon said.

Akon's latest album, "Konvicted," has sold more than 1 million copies in the United States.

Akon's Antics with Adolescent Sparks Anger & Apology
Recent Hip Hop Music Success story Akon is in hot water for dirty dancin' with an underaged partygoer at a Trinidad nightclub. A video of the performance, simulating various sexual positions, has been widely circulated on the Internet.

Akon, 34, has issued an apology to the girl, her family and the Trinidad community for the embarrassment caused. Akon also admitted that he had no idea she was underaged.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

MTV 2007

SANTA MONICA, Calif., May 8 /PRNewswire/ -- MTV: Music Television today revealed performers and presenters of Hollywood's highly-anticipated, irreverent awards ceremony, the "2007 MTV Movie Awards." Known for introducing diverse line-up of up-and-coming artists to the masses, this year's ceremony also promises to be an explosive musical showcase. Taking the stage to debut new music and deliver eagerly awaited live performances are Rihanna featuring Jay-Z and British singer/songwriter, Amy Winehouse. In other news, Jessica Alba, Josh Duhamel, Samuel L. Jackson, Amanda Bynes, Chris Tucker, Katherine Heigl, Seth Rogen, Shia LaBeouf, Michael Chiklis, John Travolta, Zac Efron, Tyrese Gibson, Chris Evans and Ioan Gruffudd are the first to be announced in the growing list of stars presenting at this year's show. Hosted by Sarah Silverman, the "2007 MTV Movie Awards" airs LIVE on June 3rd at 8:00pm/7c from the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City, CA.

Songstress Rihanna is set to perform the hit single "Umbrella" from her new album, Good Girl Gone Bad, to be released June 5. The highly anticipated performance will feature hip-hop legend and fan favorite, Jay-Z. Rihanna enjoyed a tidal wave of industry acclaim in 2006 with her second album A Girl Like Me, and its back-to-back #1 hits, "S.O.S." and "Unfaithful."

The "2007 MTV Movie Awards" will mark the first live performance in the U.S. for soulful British singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse as she takes the stage to perform her internationally acclaimed hit "Rehab." Winehouse's latest album Back to Black has been enthusiastically embraced by music fans on this side of the pond, entering The Billboard Hot 200 chart at an impressive #7 and making her the highest debuting British female artist in the history of the coveted U.S. albums chart. Amy Winehouse is just one of the most recent artists to take to the MTV Movie Awards stage, which has welcomed a variety of established and up-and-coming artists. Last year's show welcomed Gnarls Barkley, AFI and Christina Aguilera.

Up for the coveted golden popcorn at the "2007 MTV Movie Awards" are "300," leading the way with 5 nominations, and "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest," receiving four nominations. Also vying an award are "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Kazakhstan," "Blades Of Glory," and "The Devil Wears Prada," with three nominations each. MTV will also celebrate the first-ever user generated category, "BEST MOVIE SPOOF" where viewers have the opportunity to submit their own original movie shorts parodying films from the past year via Yahoo! Movies ( as well as another new category, BEST SUMMER MOVIE YOU HAVEN'T SEEN YET giving a nod to upcoming summer blockbusters.

Fans can vote by visiting before May 29th. Viewers can also vote from their mobile phones by texting "MOVIES" to 22422. Voting is also available by dialing toll free to 1-877-MTV-VOTE where fans can support their favorite nominees in each category. For the first time ever, the "2007 MTV Movie Awards" will offer live voting during the show. One category will remain open and viewers will be asked to cast their votes via and text messaging on their wireless phones.

The "2007 MTV Movie Awards" will be available to a potential viewing audience of more than 1.4 billion people via MTV's global network of 55 channels reaching 492.7 million households around the world as well as through syndication. In addition, its convergent programming & content will reach the entire interactive community, via MTV's more than 200 digital media properties around the world.

Mark Burnett serves as Executive Producer for the "2007 MTV Movie Awards." Salli Frattini is Executive Producer for MTV. Audrey Morrisey and Ted Smith are Producers, Joe DeMaio is the Director and Kathy Flynn serves as Event Producer.

Official sponsors of "The 2007 MTV MOVIE AWARDS" are General Motors, glaceau vitaminwater, Old Navy, Secret, Sprint, Taco Bell Corp.(R), Wrigley's Orbit(R).

About MTV Networks

MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom , is one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. MTV Networks, with more than 120 channels worldwide, owns and operates the following television programming services - MTV: MUSIC TELEVISION, MTV2, VH1, mtvU, NICKELODEON, NICK at NITE, COMEDY CENTRAL, TV LAND, SPIKE TV, CMT, NOGGIN, VH1 CLASSIC, LOGO, MTVN INTERNATIONAL and THE DIGITAL SUITE FROM MTV NETWORKS, a package of 13 digital services, all of these networks trademarks of MTV Networks. MTV Networks connects with its audiences through its robust consumer products businesses and its more than 95 interactive properties worldwide, including online, broadband, wireless and interactive television services and also has licensing agreements, joint ventures, and syndication deals whereby all of its programming services can be seen worldwide.

About Mark Burnett Productions

Mark Burnett Productions (MBP) is a leading production company in content for both primetime television and the internet. MBP revolutionized television with hits such as Eco-Challenge, Survivor, The Apprentice, The Contender, Rock Star: INXS, Rock Star: Supernova and its upcoming co-production with Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks Television, On The Lot (FOX). Other upcoming MBP projects include: Pirate Master (CBS) and Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader (FOX). MBP also partnered with AOL on the highly successful adventure Gold Rush, the first-ever unscripted project to be produced exclusively for the internet. MBP also successfully reintroduced product placement as an integral part of each of its shows and has garnered a total of 42 Emmy nominations since 2001.

Monday, May 07, 2007

What Is Latin Hip Hop

What is Latin Hip Hop?
Hector "Heist" Alvarez, - May 07, 2007 - There seems to be a huge confusion about what Latin Hip Hop is! We are faced with not understanding the music, which is fast becoming the next Genre to come into its own within the Latin market. The question is do we consider an artist who is Spanish a Latin Hip Hop artist just because of their country of origin? The misconception is great when it comes to this particular topic, not only is it a touchy one but also a little difficult to really remark on. The reason its difficult is because for many years no one really looked at Latinos as major players within the Hip Hop community so we had to go on and do our own thing so as to have a part in the Music itself. When it comes down to the elements of Hip Hop we Hispanics have played a huge part in many of them, and sometimes actually making it our own and Latinos being recognized as pioneers a few.

A great example is the Rock Steady Crew, a troop of Break Dancers that emerged within the Hip Hop community in 1977 and started by Joseph Torres, which was of Puerto Rican descent. The fact that we had a big part of the Graffiti movement and popularity during the 70's also proves we were involved way back when Hip Hop was still at its infancy. During the early 80's we had producers that were deeply rooted within the rising genre and of course we had what some would consider our forefathers of Latin Hip Hop starting out their fledgling careers. Hip Hop is not only music, but a culture within itself, and one that has no particular color or race involved within it. If we only look at sales and those who buy the music we will come to see that we have come a long way from where it all started and it has grown to be accepted by everyone through out the world.

As the music has gained acceptance so should those involved in the industry from both the English and Spanish side alike. We Latinos have been making Hip Hop music since day one, be it producing, dancing, rapping, singing or Dj'ing we have always had a part in Hip Hop. Now the whole thing is what part and how can we determine where we belong? All in all we just straight up belong within the culture, no ifs and or buts about it! Now it's only about recognizing what we have to offer and properly assessing how to manage and market it. As we move into a New era where we will have Latin artist’s making Hip Hop music in Spanish and having the world as their stage we truly need to learn from our past mistakes and correct them so we can rightfully gain the spot we have so long fought to have. We have Hip Hop artists in our community and we have Latin Hip Hop artists as well.

To differentiate we only need hear what they are saying, in all reality it's that simple! Hip Hop is Hip Hop no matter what Language it's in, so you can't really say the artists are different. The only thing different is the language they rap in. Now where it becomes a little tricky is when you have a Spanish artist and he/she raps in Spanish or English or even more confusing when you have a non-Hispanic rapping or singing in Spanish, how would you classify them? We all have our own opinions on this and none of us are wrong but when you sit down and analyze it you can only have one real answer. If you rap in English no matter your origin it's just Hip Hop but when you rap in Spanish you now have Latin Hip Hop even if you're a black artist doing it. It's that simple!

What we need to grasp is that we aren't inventing something new, or reinventing the wheel here! We are just making music we Love for our own people and others who will appreciate it. We are singing or rapping in our own Language and adding our own rhythms to the Beats that we are all accustomed to and have been listening to for over two decades. So why do we not know how to market this? Because the record labels don't pay close enough attention to the origins to understand that the same methods will work if put into use in our own markets. Just change them to work for us and we will be fine. Consumers know what they like and will buy it if it's out there, but if you don't provide the product it will not be purchased. So make it accessible and you will have success. Radio, Record Labels, Marketing companies need to give it a chance and it will work, just don't sit there and wait for the next Daddy Yankee because it will NOT happen. If we take this by the horns and make it work not only will we have a solid genre we will not have a FAD! What we have done so many times is gotten in late and allowed the American Market to come in and take it away from us and turn it into a Fad that fades away just as fast as it came in. So let's do this right this time and lets take control of it, so we too can have a genre that generates Billions of dollars a yr, we are the largest minority in the United States, why can't we have the biggest selling albums too?